Feb 4, 2006

"What about all the other issues?"

Here is another exchange of comments about the right to life, repirnted here as a new post because the issues they bring up are so important. First is a response from me, and second is the comment that prompted the response from me.
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Dear Not the Original Anonymous,
I can answer your concerns. The pro-life movement and "people on the right" are not synonymous! There are many pro-abortion conservatives and Republicans, and there are liberal pro-lifers.

Second, even if all pro-lifers were "on the right," which they are not, you must admit that both major political parties support massive social spending. Under George W. Bush, social spending is far above what it was under Clinton. By your standards, Clinton must have hated the poor.

So if both major parties support social spending, we cannot use social spending as an excuse to vote for pro-abortion politicians.

Also, there is a good reason I do not write about "other issues."

I have heard the question many a time -- "But what about all the other issues besides abortion?" Or, "Abortion is only one issue."

If you consider the number of the dead that we are talking about, you will realize that asking about issues besides aborting babies is like asking someone in Sudan or Uganda, "But what about all the other issues besides genocide? Genocide is only one issue."

After all, our Roman Catholic Church teaches us that every preborn baby at any stage of growth is every bit as human as anyone already born (see Donum Vitae). Preborn babies are PEOPLE. With abortion in the USA, we are talking about 47 million dead PEOPLE -- slain by abortionist profiteers since the late Sixties.

We each need to ask ourselves: Do we truly believe preborn babies are people, or don't we? And if we believe preborn babies are people, do we need to act like it?

No "other issues" involve anywhere near as many victims as abortion. Plus, the tiny victims of abortion are doubly victimized; not only are they killed (and killed in terrible ways), they are denied the sacrament of Baptism.

This is why you do not see me bringing up "other issues" here. It has to be all right for someone, somewhere, to concentrate on the by-far-the-most-serious issue and not dissipate time and energy trying to cover all issues.

No one, after all, asks anti-death penalty groups to cover all issues. Especially, no one ever asks them to fight abortions! Yet Pope John Paul II, in Brazil, called abortions the most unjust EXECUTIONS of all.

And once again, may I say that there is no call, and no need, for anyone to lecture pro-lifers about the death penalty and social spending and war and anything else. Such lecturing proceeds from the unwarranted assumptions that all pro-lifers are alike and all are conservative Republicans! Sorry, but you would never catch pro-lifers voting for any pro-abortion candidate of any party.

People fail to grasp that the pro-life movement is not about politics. It is about saving babies. But, believing that all pro-lifers are conservatives, the "what about other issues" people shun us. I trust you are not like that, Anonymous!

10:39 PM

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Anonymous said...
I am not the same Anonymous who originally posted. Although I agree with what you said, he did make some points most people ignore.

Abortion truly is evil and it is right to speak of it as the PRIMARY human rights violation of our day.

At the same time, it does seem that people on the "right" quickly discount John Paul's condemnation of the war in Iraq; white-wash the American involvement in the war; and ignore the human rights violations America is responsible for throughout the world.

In fact, I CANNOT FIND A SINGLE POST ON YOUR BLOG where you ever mention any of these issues. They just don't seem important to you - you don't seem to care at all about them. I don't doubt your sincerity, I believe this may be an unconscious move. But I do think there is a tendency for pro-lifers to affiliate too closely with one political party or to put political idealogy over other concerns.

We need to be one hundred percent pro-life and we can never vote for any politician who promotes abortion. We should even be suspicious of anyone who even fails to condemn it outright. What cowardliness! But we also should have a huge problem voting for people who support a war in which civilians are routinely killed; for those who callously disregard the wisdom of (future) saints like John Paul II.

Other areas could also be mentioned - what of other charitable activities like caring for the homeless or health care? How for example can we be pro-life and not support health care reform. We need to ban abortion - but we also have to provide aid for those children who will be born so parents won't be able to use financial concerns as an excuse to have an abortion. Hilary's program was clearly wrong. But I think idealogical concerns about "big government" are sometimes misplaced. Surely Catholic social teaching tells us that the Republican model of "rugged individualism" is wrong - just as socialism on the other side is. Let's not be reactionary. Let's be Catholic.

7 Comments:

Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

"What about all the other issues?"

Ahhh... the battle cry of Indifferentists, and the consolation of the Relativists

5:15 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Mother Teresa and her order focused on giving love to the dying.

She let other people focus on hospitals, and social programs for disease cure and prevention.

For her it was focus. For pro-life people it is 1st things 1st. You first have to have a live baby to worry about the things that follow.

Until the earliest of a person's life is secure, there is no need for the social programs that follow.

And with so many parts making up the One Body, I am sure there will be sufficient numbers of social and economic interested people to carry on the work.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joseph, Thank you for your support and for your beautiful and profound comments!

1:48 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Catholicam speluncam masculum, You've hit the nail on the head. Thanks so much!

1:49 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I've often wondered if the people who ask "What about all the other issues?" have ever thought about what'll happen 60 years after the last baby is born..

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for proving my point.

I am totally pro-life. I would and never could vote for a pro-abortion politician. I am not a relativist. I love Mother Theresa. I think we need to follow her example. We need to be 100% pro-life - affirming the value of human life at every stage. We need to be concerned about all the issues. That's not a veiled attempt to obscure the abortion debate. Abortion is the primary evil. Agreed. But it is not the ONLY evil.

What you are saying is, There are no other issues. You won't even acknowledge them! Especially issues that reflect poorly on conservatives. I am sorry. I don't agree with that at all. I don't think that's the teaching of the Church. Being pro-life does not mean that we fail to keep politicians accountable just because they vote correctly on abortion. Being stridently pro-life tells us a lot about a politician - it shows they have a lot of courage. But don't forget, they are STILL politicians.

And, by the way, while you're correct in saying that not all folks on "the right" are pro-life - those who are not are really not considered truly conservative (and I think rightly so!). That was obvious nitpicking on your part and demonstrates to any objective reader of this blog that you are grasping for straws.

You're right, though, Bush has been spending a lot like a Democrat - funding the same old failing programs. My comments were more specifically aimed at conservative philosophies that push for extremely limited government (virtually abolishing all social programs) - something Catholic social teaching condemns.

In sum, it's a shame you took an argument for expanding our outlook (following people like Mother Theresa) as a dismissal of or a compromise on abortion. That was NEVER my intention. Instead of affirming the need to acknowledge additional injustices you seem to imply that ever mentioning any other injustice other than abortion implies a compromise on abortion.

I think you need to read the Pope's new encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. Of course, the Pope would echo all that has been said about the evil of abortion. But he also says: "As the years went by and the Church spread further afield, the exercise of charity became established as one of her essential activities, along with the administration of the sacraments and the proclamation of the word: love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to her as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel" (22).

Interestingly, the Pope does not mention abortion specifically in the whole letter. Maybe you ought to write the Pope and tell him: "If you consider the number of the dead that we are talking about, you will realize that asking about issues besides aborting babies is like asking someone in Sudan or Uganda, "But what about all the other issues besides genocide? Genocide is only one issue."

"Not Original Anonymous"

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not original anonymous....well said! Both you and "original anonymous" made very good points....interesting that "original anonymous" never said he/she was pro abortion and you flat out stated that abortion was evil.....yet you both were responded to as if you supported abortion......failing to address at all the issues/questions..which are very relevant protecting life.........how myopic!

12:54 PM  

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